Glow 2010

The most amazing thing about Glow is that it actually happens. An uptight town turning their usually restrictive beach into a de facto free zone. Twice, so far. Art, performances, incredible community effort, yes yes. But in a city that bans all smoking of any kind, on a beach that forbids all human presence after 10pm, filled with huge midnight crowds of casual pot smokers, completely un-hassled by the omnipresent police… It’s no Carnival. But it’s as close as Santa Monica will ever get.

Glow is also ridiculous and annoying in a lot of ways. The gibbering ravers, the tourist trap funnel processes, the ubiquitous goddamn glow-sticks. But it also feels like a brief escape from fear. A small window of possibility. It doesn’t need to be all that large. Lying on your back, surrounded by thousands of people, listening to the sound of their happy surprise, an icelandic sailor’s song, and the waves at 2am — it’s enough.

Short video fragments of a sea chanty and a reading of Rime of the Ancient Mariner: